Petras Bielinis was born Sept. 8, 1917, amidst the poverty and strife of the Vilnius countryside. During the war, he left Lithuania ahead of the second Russian invasion. After finding temporary safety in Germany, he made a permanent home in America. The dislocation of war brought Petras a blessing. From among the suitors, Natalia selected him. She remained his loving and loyal wife for more than 60 years until her death.
Never much of a joiner, Petras did fully appreciate that his new home allowed him to create a decent life. While always intensely loyal to his family, Petras treasured solitude. He thrived on purchasing family food with card game winnings at the displaced persons camps, long, long daily walks through his East 185th Street neighborhood, perfectly filling out a European suit on Sundays; a taste of Remy in the evening, especially on New Year's Eve, hours at Wildwood Park alongside Lake Erie, with its ever changing waves, wind, sky and sun, deftly dodging the debacles, then placing his winnings back into the stock market for yet another spin of the wheel - again and again, and lastly, sitting quietly in the evenings on his porch with Natalia.
The final hand has been dealt - Parkinson's. With dignity and without complaint, Petras played it out. He passed away March 26, 2013.
There will be no more sport. And at the lake, only dark, cold waves lap against the shore of the park.
Petras is survived by his son, Arunas (Audra Nasvytis); daughter, Daiva (Jack) Waterwash; granddaughter, Audrele Bielinis; and relatives, friends and colleagues on both sides of the ocean.
Family and friends are welcome from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 2, 2013, at Jakubs and Son Funeral Home, 936 E. 185th St., Cleveland (216-531-7770).
The Funeral Mass will immediately follow at 11 a.m. at St. Casimir, 18022 Neff Road, Cleveland, followed by interment at All Souls Cemetery in Chardon Township.